Zanzibar, an idyllic island off the coast of Tanzania, is a true traveller’s paradise. With its pristine beaches, rich cultural history and unique architecture, Zanzibar offers a truly unforgettable experience for anyone who visits.
Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure or a blend of both, following a 1 week itinerary for Zanzibar is the perfect way to explore this captivating island and make the most of your time.
One week in Zanzibar can give you a taste of everything the island has to offer, while also allowing you to relax and enjoy its unique culture and natural beauty.
So, pack your bags, get ready for an unforgettable trip, and learn about all of the amazing things to do and places to visit in Zanzibar.
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Overview Of 7 Days In Zanzibar Itinerary
Zanzibar truly offers a diverse range of experiences, combining natural beauty, cultural heritage and blissful relaxation. Here is a quick rundown of what you can expect from a one-week Zanzibar itinerary.
With its stunning white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, this island is a haven for sun-seekers and ocean lovers.
You’ll be able to enjoy numerous water sports, including snorkelling, scuba diving and sailing, and explore the incredible marine life and colourful coral. To unwind, many of the idyllic beach resorts offer relaxation, spa treatments and breathtaking sunsets.
Wander through the labyrinth of the historic Stone Town, discovering its narrow streets, bustling bazaars and cultural gems. Spice tours are also popular if you want to learn about Zanzibar’s aromatic plantations and the island’s history as a prominent spice hub.
Use the following as your guide to Zanzibar and prepare to have an unforgettable experience!
Day 1: Arrive in Zanzibar
Spend the afternoon settling in and enjoying the facilities of your hotel, indulge in a spa treatment to unwind from the flight in, or relax by the pool or at the beach. In the evening, head out to get your first taste of the nightlife of Zanzibar.
The island has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars and nightclubs playing local and international music. If you want to keep things tame your first night here, you can enjoy a delicious cocktail while enjoying stunning views of the ocean at any of the cosy rooftop bars and beachside lounges.
Many spots also have regular live performances of traditional Taarab music, a fusion of African, Arabic and Indian influences.
You might also like to head to the Forodhani Night Market along the waterfront for an easy dinner. Here you will come across a mouthwatering array of local street food, from grilled seafood to Zanzibari pizzas. Afterwards, head back to your hotel and get a good night’s sleep for tomorrow’s adventures.
Day 2: Stone Town Tour
Start your day with a delicious breakfast at your hotel, then head out to explore Stone Town, the historical and cultural heart of Zanzibar. Take a walking tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site with a local guide who will show you all the highlights, including:
- The Sultan’s Palace
This architectural masterpiece is a wonderful encapsulation of the history and cultural heritage of the island.
Originally built in the late 19th century as the official residence of the Sultan of Zanzibar, it stands as a testament to the island’s historical significance as a trade hub and a melting pot of cultures.
You’ll be able to see a mixture of architectural styles blending Arabian, Indian and European influences, and view a remarkable collection of artefacts, royal regalia and displays at the museum.
- The Old Fort
The Old Fort of Zanzibar dates back to the 17th century and was originally built by the Omanis to protect the island from invasions.
The once imposing fort with bastions and coral stone walls has been transformed into a vibrant cultural centre, with various events like live music performances and festivals, as well as craft markets.
The peaceful inner courtyard is surrounded by little shops where you can pick up local crafts, artwork or souvenirs.
- Darajani Market
No Stone Town tour is complete without visiting the bustling marketplaces. One of the most popular is the Darajani Market, a sensory wonderland filled with the aroma of exotic spices, the vibrant colours of fresh fruits and vegetables, and the lively sounds of locals bartering.
While you might not need to pick up any food, there are also handmade crafts and intricate textiles available for you to look at.
After lunch and a rest break, visit the nearby Prison Island, which is home to Aldabra giant tortoises and has a beautiful beach for relaxing.
This is an ideal place to go snorkelling if you want, as the waters are brimming with vibrant marine life. A half-day Prison Island tour is highly recommended for the best experience possible, including fascinating insights into the island’s history.
Day 3: Spice Tour and Jozani Forest
- Spice Tour
One of Zanzibar’s must-do activities is a spice tour. In fact, Zanzibar is known as “Spice Island” for its rich history of spice cultivation and trade.
Take a morning tour of the spice plantations and learn about the uses of the various spices that are grown on the island, as well as the cultivation and harvesting processes.
Zanzibar is known for its production of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla, so you’ll be able to smell and taste all of these during the tour.
- Jozani Forest
After the spice tour, head to the Jozani Forest, the last remaining sanctuary of the endangered Zanzibar red colobus monkey. Jozani Forest is a protected area in the Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park and covers an area of 50 square kilometres.
Watch the red colobus and Sykes monkeys leap from tree to tree and feed on leaves and fruits, and see if you can spot the elusive Zanzibar leopard.
The forest is also known for its rich biodiversity, particularly the indigenous flora and fauna. Another highlight is getting to walk across a boardwalk through the swampy mangrove ecosystem.
Local guides are often trained by the park authorities and can provide insights into the unique ecology, wildlife and conservation efforts.
Day 4: Beach Day
Spend the day soaking up the sun and enjoying the beautiful Zanzibar beaches. You can choose to spend your time relaxing on the sand or take part in any of the various water sports activities on offer, from snorkelling and scuba diving to parasailing.
Some popular Zanzibar beaches to visit include:
- Nungwi Beach
Located on the northern tip of Zanzibar, Nungwi Beach is one of the most popular and vibrant beaches on the island. It offers breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and is dotted with resorts, bars and restaurants. It’s also an ideal spot for snorkelling, diving or deep-sea fishing.
- Kendwa Beach
Found right by Nungwi, Kendwa Beach is known for its postcard-perfect beauty. With powdery white sand and tranquil water, it’s a perfect spot for sunbathing and relaxing. At night, however, it’s a completely different scene, as this beach is also famous for its Full Moon Parties, where locals and tourists gather to enjoy music and dance by the bonfire.
- Paje Beach
If you’re eager to go kitesurfing, look no further than Paje Beach. Located along the east coast, the beach’s consistent wind conditions offer the opportunity for both beginners and experienced kitesurfers to enjoy some time on the water.
- Matemwe Beach
Want some tranquillity and privacy? Head to the northeast coast of Zanzibar to find Matemwe Beach, a secluded and serene destination. This beach has a quiet atmosphere, with swaying palm trees and traditional fishing dhows along the horizon. During low tide, you can explore the fascinating coral reef pools.
Day 5: Mnemba Island Day Trip
On your fifth day, embark on a day-long adventure to Mnemba Island, one of the most stunning places to visit in Zanzibar. Also known as Mnemba Atoll, this idyllic retreat is located off the northeast coast of Zanzibar.
It offers a secluded and relaxing escape for travellers seeking a luxurious tropical experience. With only one luxury resort on the entire island, it’s the perfect place for honeymooners or those who want some extra privacy.
The surrounding waters of Mnemba Atoll are a designated marine reserve, protected from fishing and other activities that could harm the fragile ecosystem.
The conservation efforts also extend to the island itself, with sustainable tourism practices in place.
This pristine coral island is known for its breathtaking beauty, with an abundance of vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life.
The crystal-clear turquoise waters here provide amazing opportunities for snorkelling, scuba diving and swimming with colourful fish, sea turtles and other fascinating sea creatures.
This full-day group tour provides equipment, as well as instruction for snorkelers of all experience levels, so you won’t have to worry about anything. Upon return to Muyuni Beach, you’ll be rewarded with a delicious late lunch including fish and rice.
Day 6: Safari Blue Tour
One of the most incredible day trips in Zanzibar is the Safari Blue Tour. Hop on a traditional dhow boat and embark on this full-day journey of discovery to the uninhabited islands off the coast of Zanzibar.
You will have the opportunity to snorkel around pristine coral reefs and mangroves, and swim alongside tropical fish and sea turtles in azure waters. On your way to Menai Bay, look for wild dolphins playing in the water before stopping at the islet of Kwale for a delicious seafood lunch on the beach.
More than just an exciting day trip, this tour is an amazing opportunity to reconnect with nature and learn about the biodiversity and culture of Zanzibar.
Local guides will share fascinating insights with you throughout the day, from marine conversation to the traditional practices of the local fishermen.
Day 7: Relax and Depart Zanzibar
As your one-week adventure in Zanzibar comes to an end, get some last-minute relaxation in before you head to the airport.
Depending on how much time you have to spare, you could enjoy a massage or spa treatment offered at your resort, walk along the shoreline, or leisurely indulge in one last local meal.
Is 7 days enough for Zanzibar?
Not sure how many days in Zanzibar will be enough? Seven days is a good amount of time to explore Zanzibar, depending on what you want to see and do on the island.
Zanzibar is a relatively small island, but it offers a diverse range of activities that will fill up your time here. With 1 week in Zanzibar to spare, you can easily cover most of the island’s main attractions and still have time to relax and soak up the local culture.
That being said, if you’re looking to explore the nearby mainland of Tanzania or wish to learn about Zanzibar in-depth, you may need to allocate more time.
What to do in Zanzibar in a week?
There are so many things to do in Zanzibar to fill a one week itinerary. Make your way through the winding streets of Stone Town, visit the island’s bustling markets and see historic attractions like the Old Fort. Of course, there are so many stunning beaches to relax at as well.
Spend whole days taking refreshing dips, scuba diving or snorkelling in the Indian Ocean, then sunbathing on the soft sandy shores. You also won’t want to miss a visit to the Jozani Forest, home to the endangered red colobus monkeys.
How much does it cost for a week in Zanzibar?
When planning a trip to Zanzibar, it’s important to think about how much you’ll want to spend. The cost of a week in Zanzibar heavily depends on a number of factors, from the time of year and the accommodation you choose, to your activities and dining preferences.
Accommodation prices in Zanzibar can start from around $15-$20 per night for a basic room and go up to several hundred dollars per night for high-end accommodations. Transportation costs will also vary depending on whether you choose to hire a private driver, take taxis, or rent a scooter or a car.
A budget-conscious traveller should expect to spend around $500 to $700 per person for a week in Zanzibar, while those seeking more luxury and high-end experiences could spend upwards of $2,000 or more per person for the same length of stay.
What is the best month to visit Zanzibar?
The best time to visit Zanzibar depends on your travel preferences and the activities you want to do while on the island. Generally, the best time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from June to October.
During this time, the weather is warm and sunny with very little rainfall, making it ideal for beach activities and water sports.
Another good time to visit Zanzibar is from December to February when the weather is also warm and dry. However, this period is considered the peak tourist season, and the island can be crowded and prices tend to be higher.
If you’re on a budget you might want to rule out this time, but if money isn’t an issue, this can be a fantastic time to come here.
If you can, avoid visiting from March to May, which is Zanzibar’s rainy season. The island experiences heavy rainfall and high humidity during these months, which can affect what outdoor activities you’ll be able to enjoy.
A one-week itinerary to Zanzibar promises an unforgettable adventure filled with rich cultural experiences, stunning natural beauty and idyllic island vibes.
From exploring the enchanting streets of Stone Town, with its historical landmarks and vibrant markets, to basking in the sun-kissed beaches and crystal-clear waters of Nungwi and Kendwa, Zanzibar offers a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration.
Recommended tours in Zanzibar
- Tandem Skydive
- Stone Town Private Walking Tour
- Affordable and Reliable Taxi Services in Zanzibar Island
- Mnemba Island snorkeling and Swimming with Dolphin
- Spice Tour + Stone Town Tour + Prison Island
- Day Safari tour to Selous Game Reserve from Zanzibar
- Dolphin tour, Jozani Forest, Jambiani Kuza Cave, Paje Beach &The Rock restaurent
- Zanzibar Cooking Class & Spice Tour
- Prison island & Walk tour
- 2 Day safari to Mikumi departure from Zanzibar
- Jambiani Village Women at work and play
- Kidichi Kitchen Experience: Traditional Cooking Masterclass
- A Day Trip To Selous Fly From Zanzibar
- Aquana 3 Island Tour/Excursion
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